Thursday, February 9, 2017
Otro Corazon 2: Queering Chicanidad in the Arts conference was a great experience for me. This was the first time I had been surrounded by so much Queer Chicanidad. The conference was about honoring Tomas Ybarra-Frausto and touching upon his contributions. The guest speakers not only introduced themselves and their work, but also about how their lives and careers were influenced by Frausto and his work. Throughout the conference the word “rasquacho” was being mentioned a lot. According to Frausto it means, “a Chicano sensibility.” I was very confused at first because this was the first time I had heard of “rasquachismo.”
One of the presenters that stood out to me the most was Monica Palacios. She presented a poem she wrote on growing up feeling masculine and coming to the realization that you are a lesbian. It resonated with me because I saw a lot of things she mentioned, in me. After her poem, she presented an excerpt from San Francisco Mi Amor! This excerpt was about her life during the 1970-1980’s. She drops acid and realizes she is a lesbian. Then moves to Oakland with her sister, and pursues being a stand up comedian.
Seeing the guest speakers, listening to what they were saying, and the way they spoke gave me a sense of belonging with everyone else in the conference. It was interesting to hear people Speak Spanglish and it made me feel a lot less self-conscious about the way I speak. It was also interesting to hear and compare Monica’s coming out story through her excerpt with my own.